Forward to Distant Times: New Visions of the West
Los Angeles Filmforum is proud to present "Forward to Distant Times," a program of extraordinary experimental examinations of the history, mythology and landscape of the American west. Drawing on diverse traditions ranging from the city symphony to the film diary, the filmmakers featured in tonight's program look at the western United States with fresh eyes, examining the visual residue of history, the iconography of the west and the continuing impact of redevelopment.
Writing to Virginia Governor James Monroe in 1801 US President Thomas Jefferson stated "it is impossible not to look forward to distant times, when our rapid multiplication will expand itself beyond these limits and cover the whole northern, if not the southern continent." His statement proved prescient, though not entirely accurate, anticipating the expansion of the United States through a combination of territorial acquisition and historical erasure a movement forward that frequently and violently expunged the realities of distant pasts.
Presented in conjunction with the culminating weekend of the Los Angeles Nomadic Division's (LAND) Manifest Destiny Billboard Project, the films in this program offer contemporary visions of the relationship between place, land and power. Tonight's program includes two world premieres, Cuentos by Penelope Uribe-Abee and From Sea to See by Eve Lauryn-LaFountain.
Amy Halpern, Kate Lain, Eve Lauryn-LaFountain, Lee Anne Schmitt and Penelope Uribe-Abee in person.
Curated by Alison Kozberg.
For more event information: www.lafilmforum.org, or 323-377-7238
Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available by credit card in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at http://bpt.me/1714067 or at the door.
Penelope Uribe-Abee, 2015, video, color, sound, 7 minutes.
Cuentos is Uribe-Abee's latest exploration of certain aspects of her family history in the United States and Mexico. This particular piece contains audio of Grandma Kitty (Catherine Gonzalez) recounting her life stories in her old age. These stories highlight the loss felt during her abrupt pregnancies and ultimately her young marriage. These themes of regret, sorrow, and female struggle permeate throughout Mexican-American diasporas, and Cuentos catalogues the specifics of these trans-generational stories.
Amy Halpern, 2010, 16mm, color, silent, 6 minutes.
"Two palindromes. One resurrection. No happy ending."
Lee Anne Schmitt and Lee Lynch, 2005, Super 8 transferred to digital video, color, sound, 20 minutes.
The Wash is a portrait of the river wash that runs behind the older part of Newhall, California, where Lee and I used to live. We shot the wash on Super 8 film and then finished it on video. It is a collaboration between us, describing the ways the wash is used, and the people who use it, ourselves included. It charts the way this land has changed since they began developing Newhall and the surrounding community of Valencia for housing, a development that is expected to bring over 250,000 more people into the area by the year 2015.
Lee Anne Schmitt
Field Notes: Tree 1
Kate Lain, Super 8 transferred to digital video, black and white, sound, 3:28 minutes.
Contemplating the meaning of one element of the modern landscape.
Part of Field Notes, a series of 11 short films studying the place and meaning of nature in the Los Angeles area.
Piensa en Mi
Alexandra Cuesta, 2009, 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes.
"Moving from east to west and back, the windows of a bus frame fleeting sections of urban landscape. Throughout the day, images of riders, textures of light and fragments of bodies in space come together to weave a portrait in motion; a contemplative meditation on public transport in the city of Los Angeles. Isolation, routine and everyday splendor, create the backdrop of this journey, while the intermittent sounds of cars construct the soundscape."
From Sea to See
Eve Lauryn LaFountain, 2014, Super 8 transferred to digital video, color, sound, 8:23 minutes.
These are some of the last images I shot on Ektachrome. As I looked through the footage I had after Kodak announced the end of the era of reversal color stock, I started to see a pattern. Some might say an indigenous point of view. Buffalo fenced in, Native peoples, dances, cultural tourism, and events that are very well documented. I have lots of footage of people taking pictures. Cops, tourists, Indians, cowboys...I am behind all of them capturing these moments, capturing them capturing moments of waning ideals.
Manifest Destiny claimed that all this land, known to the original peoples as Turtle Island, was free for the taking. European settler expansion to the west was inevitable, regardless of who and what stood in the way. The explorers are always thinking that they can lay claim to all that is in front of them. Space became the final frontier as what was once the wild west became tamed. Now our space fantasies are fizzling out too. I set out to edit these small rolls of film together as a farewell to Ektachrome, a farewell to the last of Kodak's color reversal films. It became a meditation on the legacy of Manifest Destiny and the greed to taking what cannot belong to anyone.
Eve Lauryn LaFountain
Amy Halpern is an independent New York filmmaker working in Los Angeles. Her films are abstract in their concern with light, movement and the film medium, but they are also human in their elements and themes. One theme which persists throughout her work is that liberation from social, political, psychological, perceptual and even bodily constraints- in indeed possible. Committed to encouraging a wider audience for absolute film, Amy Halpern co-founded two screening cooperatives: the New York Collective for Living Cinema (1972-1982) and the Los Angeles Independent Film Oasis (1975-1980)
Eve-Lauryn LaFountain is a Los Angeles based Jewish and Turtle Mountain Chippewa multimedia artist From Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her films have been show in festivals and venues across the country and abroad including imagineNATIVE Film and Media Festival in Toronto and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in New York. LaFountain's photography has shown extensively and has won numerous awards, such as the Ebner Trophy and Santa Fe Indian Market Best of Classification. She holds a BA from Hampshire College where she studied experimental film, photography, and Native American Studies. In the spring of 2014 she received a dual MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Photography & Media and Film & Video.
Penelope Uribe-Abee is a third generation Angeleno and artist; she is a student at UCLA's School of Art and Architecture. Uribe-Abee grew up in El Sereno, regularly attending free art classes through not profit organizations including Plaza de la Raza, CalArts Community Arts Partnership, and The Echo Park Film Center. These experiences shaped her career as an artist and she currently works as a Museum Educator at The Fowler Museum at UCLA and at the Echo Park Film Center. Her films have been shown in festivals locally and abroad including the Canadian Independent Film Festival, REDCAT and the Armory Center for the Arts. In 2012 she co-curated and directed the final Youth Arts and Media Festival (YAMLA)
This program is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.
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